Ice conditions continue to be an issue. The Department of Natural Resources weekly Outdoor Report cautions people about thin ice and potentially dangerous conditions on lakes throughout the state, saying there have been a number of reports of vehicles and anglers going through the ice.
Jarek Wujkowski of Kurt’s Island Sports in Minocqua indicated the cold front that came through at the start of last weekend had an effect on the fish and the anglers.
“We’d been hearing everything’s good on walleye and panfish before this cold front came in, but ... after the really cold stuff came in we haven’t heard much because there haven’t been too many people going out,” he said.
“Walleyes had been really good. Also perch, panfish ... Everything’s been really good.”
Wujkowski said one customer brought in a 29-inch, 8-pound walleye that was caught on Lake Tomahawk over the weekend.
Colder air is firming up area lakes and adding ice, but ice conditions continue to be an issue.
“It really varies,” Wujkowski said. “Anything from five to 13 (inches) – it really depends what lake you’re on, when it froze, all that stuff... I definitely wouldn’t recommend driving on any lakes even though they are driving on some of the flowages and Big Arbor Vitae.”
Free fishing this weekend
Jan. 19 and 20 provide a chance for those that aren’t yet into hard water angling to give it a shot without the need to buy a license.
New this year, the DNR announced that anyone can fish for free Jan. 19 and 20, when Wisconsin has its first winter Free Fishing Weekend.
During this weekend, residents and nonresidents alike can fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp. This includes all inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.
Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep, and any closed season for species, such as for muskie.
Tournament and fund raiser
The Ice Fishing Tournament Fundraiser for Creative Minds and Woodland Charter Schools is slated for Jan. 26, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Preregistration online at MHLT.org, or at school office. Same day registration is at The Thirsty Whale, 453 Park Ave. West, Minocqua.
This fundraising event will raise money for items needed to help facilitate the unique and innovative learning taking place at these two charters. Donated items related to fishing and the outdoors are sought, as well as monetary donations and sponsors to help build publicity in order to make this tournament an annual event.
• Ice augers.
• Ice fishing shanties.
• Ice fishing tip ups.
• Jig poles/summer fishing poles.
• Ice fishing sheds.
• Lures ice/summer.
• Ice skimmers.
• Anything outdoor sports related.
Contact Matt Schmidt at 715-356-5206 ext. 2184 for more information.
Fish recipe from Tom Hollatz’s “Shore Lunch Cookbook.”
2 pounds filets
1 T. salt
1 C. milk or buttermilk
1 C. browned bread crumbs, cornmeal or crushed corn flakes
4 T. melted butter or other fat.
Cut fillets into serving-size portions. Add salt to milk in shallow pan. Dip fish in milk, roll in crumbs, place in well-greased pan, pour on melted fat. Place pan on rack near top of oven and bake at 500 degrees 10-15 minutes. Fish should flake easily when testing with a fork. Serve hot, plain or with sauce. Serves six.
Share your pictures and stories
Got the one that didn’t get away? Share your pictures and/or story with us.
For pictures include your first and last name, town you reside in, size of the catch, location (you can be vague if you want to protect a secret spot) and date to: The Lakeland Times, ATTN: Outdoors, P.O. Box 790, Minocqua 54548 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a phone number for questions we may have and an SASE for photos to be returned.
If you’d like to share a story of your adventure, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and include a phone number with your information.
Craig Turk may be reached at email@example.com